The use of traditional medicine and medicinal plants in most developing countries, as a normative basis for the maintenance of good health, has been widely observed (Falodun A et al., 2006). Plants are utilized as therapeutic agents since time immemorial in both organized (Ayurveda, Unani) and unorganized (folk, tribal, native) form. The healing properties of many herbal medicines have been recognized in many ancient cultures (Rajeshwari sivaraj et al., 2011).
Cucumis trigonus Roxb of family Cucurbitaceae is distributed throughout India and found in areas of Ceylon, Afghanistan, Persia and Northern Australia. It is used for various ailments in Indian Traditional System of Medicine (Naveena, B.M. et al., 2004) Fruit and roots have medicinal value. The fruits are used in flatulence, leprosy, fever, jaundice, diabetes, cough, bronchitis, ascites, anaemia, constipation, other abdominal disorders and amentia. (Naik, V.R. et al., 1981). In addition, fruit pulp is bitter, acrid, thermogenic, anthelmintic, liver tonic, cardio tonic, appetizer, expectorant and intellect promoting (Kirtikar, K.R. et al., 2009). The title plant is reported to possess analgesic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic activity. Recently it's proteolytic and serine protease activity has been reported (Naik, V.R. et al., 1980).
Urolithiasis refers to the solid nonmetallic minerals in the urinary tract. Among the several types of kidney stones, the most common are calcium oxalate. The formation of these stones involves several physicochemical events, beginning with crystal nucleation, aggregation and ending with retention within the urinary tract (Purnima et al., 2010). It has been described as the third most common affliction of human urinary tract (Atmani et al., 2004). Some common causes are inadequate urinary drainage, foreign bodies in the urinary tract, microbial infections, diet with excess oxalates and calcium, vitamin abnormalities, viz. vitamin A deficiencies, vitamin D excess, metabolic diseases like hyperparathyroidism, cystinuria, gout and intestinal dysfunction (Tiselius et al., 2008).
Lipid peroxidation represents oxidative tissue damage caused by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) superoxide anion (O2)and hydroxyl radicals (OH), resulting in structural alteration of membrane with release of cell and organelle contents, loss of essential fatty acids with formation of cytosolic aldehyde and peroxide products. Malondialdehyde is a major end product of free radical reaction on membrane fatty acids. Although the cell is endowed with several antioxidant systems to limit the extent of lipid peroxidation, under certain conditions protective mechanism can be overwhelmed, leading to elevated tissue levels of peroxidation products. Antioxidant can be classified as preventive and chain breaking antioxidants. Antioxidant vitamins such as alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), vitamin A and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) belong to the second category. Such compounds can intercept free radical induced chain reaction and prevent further oxidation (Kato et al., 2007). Many studies on the etiology of stone diseases have focused on the properties of urine that effect crystal nucleation and growth. Crystal adherence to the surface of injured renal epithelial cells is considered initiating events in the genesis of urolithiasis. Factors leading to initiation of calcium oxalate formation are still not known. However the oxidant (free radical production) and antioxidant imbalance may be one of the major factors leading to the process of crystal deposition in renal tissues (Kato et al., 2007).
The present study involves the activity of the ethanolic fruit extract of C.trigonus towards the enzymatic antioxidants such as, superoxide dismutase (SOD), Catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), non-enzymatic antioxidants such as total reduced glutathione, vitamin C and vitamin E and the activity of lipid peroxidation in liver and kidney of control and urolithiasis induced rats.